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Japan prepares its anti-missile defense systems in response to the planned launch of a North Korean long-range rocket next month

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...unch three years ago, Pyongyang said the satellite made it into orbit and characterized it as a test of its satellite technology. The move drew condemnation from the US and South Korea and led to the UN resolutions prohibiting the North from nuclear and ballistic missile activity. Foreign officials said there were no indications that a satellite had reached space and that the launch was a cover fo...

A Topol RS-12M missile was launched from Russia's Kapustin Yar test range near the Caspian Sea to the Sary Shagan range in Kazakhstan

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Russia says it has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, as tension continues over Ukraine’s Crimea region. A Topol RS-12M missile was launched from Russia’s Kapustin Yar test range near the Caspian Sea to the Sary Shagan range in Kazakhstan, it said. It comes after the US accused Russia of an “act of aggression” in Crimea. The US said it was given advance noti...

Foreign embassies in Pyongyang have played down warnings from the North Korean government over their safety in the event of a war

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...f unusually strong threats since it was sanctioned by the UN in March for having carried out a third nuclear test. It has threatened nuclear strikes on the US, formally declared war on the South, and pledged to reopen a nuclear reactor in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. The movement of missiles within North Korea has sparked concern, but it is not clear how well developed its missile...

North Korea has warned of substantial and high-profile important state measures, days after announcing plans for a third nuclear test

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...ent during a meeting with top security officials, state media said. The reports did not give details of what the measures might entail. North Korea has issued a series of warnings since the UN tightened sanctions against the country this week over a recent rocket test. On Thursday, North Korea said it would proceed with a “high-level” nuclear test in a move aimed at the US, its “...

Barack Obama is addressing the UN General Assembly in New York

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Barack Obama is addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, where he is to say the US will “do what we must” to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Six weeks before the US election, Barack Obama is expected to say that a nuclear-armed Iran “is not a challenge that can be contained”. Barack Obama condemned the violence that erupted over a “disgusting” anti-...

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani says his country is ready to show more transparency on its nuclear programme

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...an’s President-elect Hassan Rouhani says his country is ready to show more transparency on its nuclear programme. In his first news conference since Friday’s vote, Hassan Rouhani also described as unfair sanctions imposed on the country over the issue. The president said Tehran would not suspend its uranium enrichment activities. The West suspects Iran of trying to build nuclear weapon...

The European Union has agreed on new sanctions on 180 Iranian officials and firms over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme

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...d of the Brussels talks, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he wanted “an intensification of the economic pressure”, particularly the isolation of Iran’s financial sector. Last week the US, Canada and the UK announced new sanctions against Iran in the wake of the report from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that said Iran had carried ou...

Speaking at the UN General Assembly's annual meeting, Barack Obama urged for diplomatic push on Iran nuclear programme

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...bligations under the deal. “The international community must bring to justice the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, confirmed unequivocally by the UN investigation mission,” he said. On Iran, Barack Obama said the US wanted to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, but was determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Speaking at the UN General Assemb...

South Korea has decided to deploy two warships with missile-defense systems, one day after North Korea apparently moved a missile to its east coast

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...s. Seoul has sought to play down North Korea’s latest move, saying they may be preparing for a missile test. South Korea has decided to deploy two warships with missile-defense systems, one day after North Korea apparently moved a missile to its east coast In recent weeks, North Korea has ramped up its rhetoric and made specific threats to target US territory. One of the targets named by Py...

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced plans to boost missile defences on the US West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea

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Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced plans to boost missile defences on the United States West Coast to counter the threat from North Korea. Chuck Hagel said the US would add 14 interceptors, which can shoot down missiles in flight, to 30 already in place in California and Alaska by 2017. He cited a “series of irresponsible and reckless provocations” recently by North Korea. Te...

South Korea has announced a deal with the US to almost triple the range of its ballistic missile system

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...nge of its ballistic missile system, saying this will counter the threat from North Korea. The whole of the North, along with parts of China and Japan, will be within South Korea’s new 800 km range. South Korea had been restricted to missiles with a range of 300 km under a previous security deal. It was revised after North Korea tested a long-range rocket launch in April. The US has more tha...

The US and South Korea have responded coolly to North Korea's offer of high-level talks with Washington

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...h Korean ones. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said its stance on talks was the same as the US. “The window of dialogue is open but that the North should take concrete steps first,” ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok said. North Korea has reneged on deals with the US on several occasions in the past. In February 2012, it agreed to a partial freeze in nuclear activities and a mi...

North Korea has removed two medium-range missiles from a coastal launch site, indicating a lowering of tension on the peninsula

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...d and ready for launch, according to US and South Korean sources. A test launch would be a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718, passed in 2006, which states the North “must not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile”. Pyongyang had issued a series of threats in apparent response to the expanded UN sanctions and the US-South Korea drills – w...

China has banned the export to North Korea of several weapon-related technologies which could be used in the development of nuclear weapons

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...e ban shows China taking a firmer line against its ally. China has banned the export to North Korea of several weapon-related technologies which could be used in the development of nuclear weapons The list includes technology in nuclear, missile, chemical and biological fields. It says the restrictions are developed in accordance with several UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea. China...

North Korea agreed to nuclear moratorium two months after Kim Jong-Un came to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il

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Following talks with the US, North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests. The US State Department said Pyongyang had also agreed to allow UN inspectors to monitor its reactor in Yongbyon to verify compliance with the measures. In return, the US is finalizing 240,000 tons of food aid for the North. The move comes two months after Kim Jong-U...

EU has announced a new package of sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme

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EU member states have announced a new package of sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme. Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg “significantly broadened EU restrictive measures”, focusing on Iranian banks, trade and gas exports, officials said. The ministers reiterated their “serious and deepening concerns” over Iran’s nuclear activities and...

North Korea has announced today that its army had received final approval to launch “merciless” nuclear strikes against the US

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North Korea has announced today that its army had received final approval to launch “merciless” nuclear strikes against the US. The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said it was formally notifying Washington that US threats would be “smashed by… cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means”, according to a statement published by the official KCNA news age...

Stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has begun removing fuel rods from a storage pond at the Unit 4 reactor building

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...een damaged during the disaster. When the tsunami struck, water knocked out cooling systems to three of Fukushima’s reactors, which went into a state of partial meltdown. Unit 4 was undergoing maintenance, so all of its fuel rods were being stored. But a build-up of hydrogen triggered an explosion in Unit 4, damaging its structure. Stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has begun removing fuel ro...

South Korea has suspended operations at two more nuclear reactors over the use of unauthorized parts

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South Korea has decided to suspend operations at two more nuclear reactors over the use of unauthorized parts. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission also delayed the start of operations at two other reactors, but said there was no public safety threat. Two reactors were suspended in late 2012, amid a scandal over parts with fake safety certificates. South Korea has 23 nuclear reactors which...

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

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...ad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton World powers want Iran to scale back its nuclear work to ensure it cannot assemble a nuclear weapon. The election of Iranian moderate Hassan Rouhani as president last year led to an improvement in ties between the Islamic Republic and the EU. In November, Baroness Catherine Ashton helped broker a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programm...

The Pentagon has decided to move an advanced missile system to the Pacific island of Guam as a precaution following threats by North Korea

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The Pentagon has decided to move an advanced missile system to the Pacific island of Guam as a precaution following threats by North Korea. The US Department of Defence said it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) in the coming weeks. Pyongyang has threatened to target South Korea and the US in recent weeks. The Pentagon has decided to move an advanced mi...

The United States has confirmed the decision to put on hold planned food aid to North Korea

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...confirmed by a Pentagon official on Wednesday. Peter Lavoy told lawmakers North Korea had violated a missile test moratorium agreement and could not be trusted to deliver the aid properly. Under the deal signed in February, North Korea agreed to a partial freeze in nuclear activities and a missile test moratorium in return for US food aid. Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asi...

State John Kerry has hailed China for being "very serious" about a pledge to help resolve tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has hailed China for being “very serious” about a pledge to help resolve tensions over North Korea’s nuclear programme. The US and China earlier said they were committed to the “denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. John Kerry said the two sides would hold further meetings “to bear down very quickly” on how to achieve...

Park Geun-hye was sworn in as South Korea's president promising a tough stance on national security and an era of economic revival

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...s sworn in as South Korea’s president promising a tough stance on national security and an era of economic revival North Korea’s nuclear test – its third – followed its apparently successful launch of a three-stage rocket to put a satellite into orbit in December. That launch was condemned by the US Security Council as a banned test of missile technology; diplomatic efforts...

Bulgaria votes in Belene nuclear power plant referendum

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...ferendum in Bulgaria’s post-Communist history has polarized opinion and is seen as a precursor of general elections later this year. The referendum would only be valid if at least 60% of the electorate votes. The government says it supports the provision of nuclear power from an existing plant at Kozloduy, but that it does not have the 10 billion euros it says would be needed to build a new...